House of Commons Hansard #4 of the 40th Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was economic.

Topics

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Holland Ajax—Pickering, ON

Mr. Speaker, after three years what we would like to see is any type of action from the government. It has failed to realize just how urgent this situation is; that further mismanagement could mean thousands of additional job losses and more pain to communities that are already suffering.

While the U.S. develops a plan to save the American auto sector, the government's inaction, its laissez-faire attitude and its hope that it will all just go away could mean that Canadian jobs become American jobs.

After three years of doing nothing will the government finally act? Will it table a plan immediately to ensure that Canadian workers are protected, and do it before it is too late?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, it is interesting to hear the hon. member talk about the American plan because the American's sent the auto executives back to come up with a plan and come back on December 2. If the member had been paying any attention he would have noticed that.

Our minister is meeting with industry leaders and stakeholders on both sides of the border to gather the best information so he can make a decision that will be taken in the best interest of Canadian consumers, Canadian auto workers, Canadian businesses and Canadian taxpayers.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, the crisis in the auto industry affects the entire country, including Cape Breton.

While other countries are investing in their auto sector, the Conservatives are not. They do not have a plan.

There have been recent layoffs of auto workers in my riding and more may come. It should not be this way and it does not need to be.

When will the Conservatives step up with a plan to help the auto sector and keep our jobs in Cape Breton?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, the government is concerned about any family that is being affected negatively by the global economic slowdown.

I reiterate the same answer that I have gave when asked this same question twice. Our minister is carefully considering options, gathering information from stakeholders, people who have valuable information and ideas to add to the conversation.

We will be coming up with a course of action in due course that will benefit Canadian taxpayers, Canadian consumers, Canadian workers and business interests as well.

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Liberal

Mark Eyking Sydney—Victoria, NS

Mr. Speaker, if there is one thing the government has shown it is that it cannot be trusted to stand up for our workers.

The government ignored the auto sector for over two years, that is until there was an election coming. As we can see today, its plan was too little and too late.

When will the government come up with a real auto strategy?

Automotive Industry
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Edmonton—Mill Woods—Beaumont
Alberta

Conservative

Mike Lake Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry

Mr. Speaker, this is the fourth question in a row from the Liberal Party demanding a knee-jerk reaction to a very complex global issue.

The minister is gathering the best information in order to make the best possible decision in the interest of Canadian workers and their families, Canadian businesses, Canadian taxpayers and Canadian consumers.

Seniors
Oral Questions

November 21st, 2008 / 11:40 a.m.

Conservative

Ed Holder London West, ON

Mr. Speaker, Canadian seniors know that no government has done more for them than the Conservative government. We delivered pension income splitting for seniors when the opposition voted against it. We increased the age limit for RRSP to RRIF conversion to 71 from 69, which the opposition voted against.

The recent downturn in market conditions has many seniors truly worried about their RRIFs. Some misunderstandings about the rules surrounding minimum withdrawal requirements has occurred recently.

Could the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance please advise the House as to what has been done to address their concerns?

Seniors
Oral Questions

11:40 a.m.

Macleod
Alberta

Conservative

Ted Menzies Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Mr. Speaker, I would like to thank our new member from London West for that great question.

Yesterday, the finance minister personally wrote to every federally regulated financial institution raising this concern that seniors have brought forward. Seniors should be allowed in-kind asset transfers, which means that their investments are transferred from their accounts with no cost to seniors.

There was a demand for a response to the minister from those institutions by November 28.

International Trade
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, four of Canada' s five major economic partners are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and APEC represents more than half of the global economy. However, the Prime Minister is about to leave for the APEC summit without any clear objectives.

Does the minister agree that international trade must engender respect for human rights and the environment and should improve workers' conditions?

International Trade
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, Canada is committed to re-engagement with the Americas and part of that is free trade. The hon. member is well aware that our free trade agreements are complemented with provisions on labour and environmental co-operation.

We need to be perfectly clear that our free trade agreements promote and reinforce the protection of human rights.

International Trade
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

NDP

Peter Julian Burnaby—New Westminster, BC

Mr. Speaker, balderdash. With the softwood sellout and other examples, if the government ran a business the way it ran international trade, it would be sued by the shareholders.

Ordinary Canadians do not believe the government is acting in Canada's best interest. The new U.S. administration is willing to change NAFTA and yet the government forges ahead with secret APEC free trade talks and signs pacts with countries like Colombia that abuse human rights.

Why does the government not renegotiate the biggest of the trade deals so workers, the environment and all Canadians, not just the rich, can benefit?

International Trade
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

South Shore—St. Margaret's
Nova Scotia

Conservative

Gerald Keddy Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade

Mr. Speaker, again, expanding our trade opportunities in the Americas is a priority of the government. Free trade is good for Canada, it is good for our free trade partners and it is good for the economies and the citizens of all the countries involved in the free trade agreements.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, on Wednesday, Jean Perrault, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, had this to say about infrastructure spending projects, “What is needed now is the political follow-through to cut red tape and ensure that the BCF money budgeted for these projects in 2007 and 2008 is spent immediately.”

Does the Prime Minister realize that immediately does not mean in the next year, as he has implied? Will he expedite funding for infrastructure?

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Ottawa West—Nepean
Ontario

Conservative

John Baird Minister of Transport

Mr. Speaker, the president and board of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities met yesterday with the Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance and me. They called on the government to expedite funding for infrastructure. This is crucial, and it forms a major portion of the Speech from the Throne. We are prepared to do that, and I hope the Bloc members will support our throne speech, because it is the best way to achieve real results and create jobs for Canadians.

Infrastructure
Oral Questions

11:45 a.m.

Bloc

Mario Laframboise Argenteuil—Papineau—Mirabel, QC

Mr. Speaker, the minister should be as red as his tie with shame. The money has been languishing in federal coffers since 2007.

In response to the current crisis, the parliamentary budget officer is calling for measures to stimulate the economy in the short term. Will the government follow his recommendation and announce more money for Building Canada in its economic statement?